White Paper on Education
This White Paper is a threat to all teachers. Look at this list:
Sick pay, length of school day, structure of working day, number of directed hours, salary structure, class sizes, length of school year, pay and progression, maternity and paternity pay, school discipline, grievance processes, starting salaries, redundancy pay, non-contact time, PPA, school holidays, sick pay rules.
ALL OF THESE, where they have not already been compromised, will be ‘up for grabs’ if all schools become academies. The conditions of service that teachers have built up for years will all be threatened by the academisation of the entire school system. A typical academy attitude to national terms and conditions is that they will honour them, “while they exist”, but that may not be much longer.
Where schools are linked to local communities and are at least partially accountable to local people, every school in the country will be managed through a remote Government agency or a multi-academy trust that has no links, representation from or accountability to local parents and communities.
The NUT is balloting members about action over the White Paper. Make your voice heard. Build support for a YES vote among members in your school. For details about the White paper, see this page for more information or contact www.teachers.org.uk
The NUT is utterly opposed to the Government’s White Paper proposals to convert all schools to academies, end democratic accountability in England’s education system and threaten teachers’ pay and conditions.
Read more details here. The NUT Easter Conference overwhelmingly endorsed a campaign, where possible with other partners, to oppose the proposals and also to ballot members for strike action in defence of teachers’ national pay and conditions.
These are some of the reasons to oppose the White Paper:
It’s the wrong priority
Support the campaign and planned action:
- Teachers, parents or anyone concerned about education can sign up to support our campaign here
- Join over 250,000 people by signing the online petitions against the White Paper below
- if you’re a teacher and NUT member, meet with your colleagues to discuss the White Paper and build support for a YES vote in the NUT ballot. Meetings are being arranged regionally for reps and for members. Please contact your local office for further details.
- if you’re a teacher not in the NUT, join the NUT now!
- order extra copies of the parents’ leaflet for distribution.
- Email your MP using your own version of this template letter.
Myth, “fact” and reality The NUT has produced a point by point rebuttal of the 13 April DfE post 10 Facts You Need to Know About Academies, which followed criticism of the proposals outlined in its White Paper.
Kevin Courtney wrote to Nicky Morgan asking her to justify the White Paper proposals on 23 March. Following a chase-up letter on 12 April the Education Secretary replied on 15 April. Our response to her letter was sent on 21 April and is available here.
Widespread opposition Labour local government leaders have written to all Labour councillors setting out their opposition to the White Paper.
Gateshead Council is the latest local authority to decide to oppose the white paper. The NUT has produced a model motion that we would encourage other local authorities to consider adopting, both to demonstrate their opposition to the plans and determination to campaign against them.
During the Opposition debate on the Education White Paper on 13 April a succession of Conservative MPs spoke out about the proposals. It is important MPs stay supportive. Please write to thank these MPs and ask them to continue to represent the view of genuine teachers and parents.
On 23 March crowds called for the scrapping of the forced academies policy in cities around the country.
UPDATE MAY 2016:
Stand Up for Education: teachers stood up, parents stood up, MPs stood up… Now let’s build the ballot to keep up the pressure!!
On Friday 6 May, Nicky Morgan was forced into the third major policy climb-down in the last month. This was a result of NUT members working with allies, campaigning against the incendiary white paper proposals. While this is undoubtedly a tactical victory for the NUT and a serious setback for the Secretary of State, it is clear that her course of direction remains the same, as shown in her public remarks over the weekend.
Her announcement made no concessions on the matters about which we wrote to the Secretary of State on 21 April to declare the dispute. In that letter we demanded she provide additional funding and take other necessary steps to ensure
- National collective bargaining on pay and conditions in all schools and academies
- Pending a new collective bargaining structure, for pay and all other terms and conditions to be no worse than those in the STPCD and Burgundy Book
- A significant improvement in the conditions of employment under which teachers work, in particular a limitation on class sizes to no more than 30 in the first instance
- Reduction in teachers workloads, in particular through limitation on marking, data handling and planning
- Reintroduction of pay portability, the pay spine points, fixed pay scales and removal of the requirement for all pay progression to be performance related
- A significant improvement in measures to ensure teacher retention, including security of employment.
Nicky Morgan has said nothing to resolve our dispute. Real term cuts in funding will have major effects on schools and teachers, whether academy or maintained. They will further erode terms and conditions, increase workload and impede pay progression for teachers. As more schools become academies, the coverage of the national STPCD and Burgundy Book will narrow and these protections will gradually wither away.
Therefore we remain in dispute and building for the ballot remains the most important and urgent priority. We will ballot members in all schools and academies for “discontinuous” strike action, and intend to call a one-day strike in early July and to announce an additional autumn term dates as well. The ballot opens on Monday 23 May and will close on Wednesday 22 June. We need a big turnout and a huge YES vote.
We have updated the materials available for you to use in your member and rep meetings.
At the same time our Stand Up For Education campaign continues and we can use the momentum we have generated to press for real changes in policy direction.
Forced academisation – by other means – is still a real threat to democratic oversight of education. The Government’s plans will continue to narrow the curriculum, encouraging the consequential growth of Exam Factory culture. We will continue to work with all those who oppose the Government’s education policy.
That is why the NUT campaign to Stand Up for Education continues.
Teachers stood up. Parents stood up. MPs and councillors stood up. Even the Institute of Directors stood up and the CBI has said the way schools are measured does not make sense.
Stand up for Education:
- Stand up for full funding
- Stand up for the profession and QTS
- Stand up for schools and education
Let’s keep up the pressure.